When CPS families enroll their children in our schools, they place their children’s futures in our hands.We
take that trust seriously, and in return, we will strive to keep our commitments, achieve results and strengthen
relationships through clear, honest communication and respect for the expertise in our diverse communities.
When families, communities and schools work together, children thrive. We are committed to developing our parents
and community members as leaders to improve their schools, district decision-making and the lives of all Chicago’s
Our district serves more than 380,000 students, and reaching their families with clear and timely information about
their schools and school district is a critical part of our work.
While we continue to share information through letters and phone calls, making better use of technology is a priority.
Finding that our parents most often access information about CPS on their smartphones or tablets, we became one
of the first districts in the nation to create a “mobile-friendly” version of our website, which includes an
option to instantly translate text into more than 100 languages. We also share important news through a parent
email list, parent-focused blog and social media.
For the first time last year, we used web-based video conferencing in two high school auditoriums so that more parents
could participate in a discussion about district priorities with Chief Executive Officer Forrest Claypool and
Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson. In addition to face-to-face meetings, we will continue to host similar
events so that more parents are able to speak directly and at convenient locations to district leaders about
their questions and concerns.
Whatever our medium for communicating with parents, we are committed to doing so openly. For example, after tests
of school drinking water found lead at some locations, we posted detailed information online within 24 hours
and sent a letter home with every student. We will continue to disclose even difficult news fully and without
Creating a school district able to meet the needs of every child requires the insight and knowledge of many. That
is why CPS leaders established advisory councils with a diverse membership to help guide district policy and
decision- making. District leaders will continue to meet regularly with advisory groups including the Local School
Council Advisory Board, the Chicago Multilingual Parent Council, the CPS Principal Advisory Council, the CPS
Teacher Advisory Council, the CPS Student Advisory Council and Community Action Councils in 10 neighborhoods.
As part of the advisory councils, charter schools are also represented to ensure robust and comprehensive input
from all types of CPS schools.
One of our priorities is to create a more collaborative culture of best practice sharing across all of our schools,
Charter and traditional district-run alike.
Visit FACE for more information
In 2015, CPS launched regional
Parent Universities to help families further support their children’s school success. Workshops introduce
new approaches, such as the Common Core Standards, and address topics such as building children’s academic and
social-emotional skills at home or helping them plan for college and careers. Parent Universities also offer
GED classes and workshops on topics from technology to poetry. We find that parents who further their education
or explore new interests inspire the same enthusiasm for learning in their children.
We will increase the number of Parent Universities from 5 to 13, with one located at a school in each CPS network,
so that they are readily accessible to families across the city.
Parent Training Center
Community Action Council
School volunteers contribute to learning in myriad ways, as tutors, mentors, coaches and chaperones. Unfortunately,
not every principal knows how best to recruit and make use of volunteers. So that every school can be enriched
by the talents and energy of its community,
we will hold a series of monthly volunteer events at schools city-wide. Each event will introduce parents
and neighbors to a different volunteer opportunity. Schools will be able to recruit new volunteers and discover
new ways to engage them.
Visit Parent Universities for more information
To be considered a district of integrity, we must embody respect and empowerment, then commit to teaching
these values in our classrooms. We must also establish trust with all stakeholders; including our families,
staff, and partners; who deserve clear, transparent communication, and who should expect to have their voices
Local School Council is essential to a well-functioning school. Prior to each LSC election, the Office
of Local School Council Relations mounts a recruitment campaign to make sure all seats are filled.
Once elected, the parents, teachers, principals, students and community representatives who serve on LSCs need training
to do their job well. The Office of LSC Relations provides required training at school sites and Parent Universities.
Last year, it also launched online training as an option.
The new training options will help ensure that all LSC members are well-prepared for their crucial role.
For councils needing extra support, the LSC Office will attend their meetings and coach them on how to function more
effectively. Those with members unable to complete a full term will be targeted for help with recruitment.
We have taken steps to bolster public engagement through proactive initiatives including the use of automated tools
for requesting office hours, a revised help tool at
cpsboe.org. We have also improved public engagement by launching community-based office hours and publishing
each meeting’s public agenda prior to the speaker and attendee registration period. Posting the public agenda
before registration opens has allowed community members to make informed decisions about their participation
in meetings, which has resulted in more productive and focused meetings.
cpsboe.org. to request office hours, ask for help or register to speak at a Board meeting.